Facebook is on the defensive. Mark Zuckerberg is dealing with bad publicity on all sides: the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the grilling in front of Congress and Senate, the ongoing scandal about his property in Hawaii, and the fact that China continues to show a lack of interest in allowing him to offer Facebook to their nation.
Because of this, Facebook seems to be bending over backward to earn good PR with certain groups. However, that apparently doesn’t extend to right-leaning groups. A right-leaning individual found that when he was threatened by a Muslim with physical harm, Facebook not only didn’t penalize the Muslim, but instead banned the FrontPage Editor from access and use of his account for seven days.
Jamie Glazov is a Canadian writer, born in Soviet Russia as Yakov Glazov. He is most famous for his work with David Horowitz, and his career as the editor of FrontPage Magazine, an online media outlet founded by David Horowitz.
On Saturday, April 14, Jamie Glazov had a Facebook interaction with a man posting under the name Muhammad Irfan Ayoub. Muhammad was commenting on Jamie’s page to condemn him for daring to point out Sharia law’s disparate and atrocious treatment of women.
However, Muhammad quickly began making vague threats, finally outright saying that he would break Glazov’s mouth.
Glazov’s response was to make two posts about the incident, asking Mark Zuckerberg if this was ‘safe’ for the Facebook community and pointing out his belief that if the threat was made to a Muslim by a non-Muslim, he believed that the person would be banned for life, and that police would be at their door within twelve hours.
Glazov also reported the comment, using the Facebook reporting system, as a threatening comment in violation of Facebook’s stated community standards.
Facebook informed him via email on Sunday, April 15, that he was banned for seven days. The founder did not reply.
Glazov, in his appeal, pointed out that HE had been threatened by Muhammad Irfan Ayoub, not the other way around, and that it seemed silly that HE was being punished for complaining about the threat of violence.
Facebook has not yet responded to the appeal of his ban.
Facebook has supposed community standards.
Under the heading ‘Helping to Keep You Safe,’ in the tab for ‘Direct Threats,’ Facebook lays out its policy for “how we help” people who report that they were targeted with direct threats (such as threats to ‘break’ someone’s mouth.)
It says that Facebook will “Carefully review” reports of threats of violence, and will remove ‘credible’ threats of physical harm. Nowhere does it say that it will penalize someone who dared to report the threat.
Perhaps, given that Glazov is a ‘public figure,’ that might be the more applicable tab, though. Under the ‘Public Figure’ tab, Facebook says that they remove ‘credible threats’ and ‘hate speech’ against public figures, just as they would for the average Facebook denizen.
Still, no discussion of penalizing someone for reporting a threat.
Under the heading ‘Encouraging Respectful Behavior,’ in the tab for ‘Hate Speech,’ Facebook says it they will penalize ‘hate speech’ on the basis of religious affiliation, among other criteria.
Glazov was threatened for debating a religious set of laws and the way that such laws treat women. In fact, one could say that he was threatened due to his religion, according to posts made by Muhammad Irfan Ayoub.
Still, nowhere does Facebook say that it would ban someone for reporting a threat.
Facebook and other social media organizations like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter have long seemed to have a vendetta against right-leaning speech, and Glazov’s punishment for reporting a threat seems to be just the latest example.
While a seven-day ban is not the end of the world for Jamie Glazov, it serves as a reminder that Facebook doesn’t much care for those who don’t spout leftist ideologies. Facebook only just recently began removing Islamic terrorist groups from its site, and there are still multiple pages on the site for groups related to terrorism.
But, according to Facebook, it seems that Jamie Glazov, and a discussion about the story of human rights activist Anni Cyrus and her life as a child bride in Iran, are more harmful than threats of physical harm.